45 Benefits of Meditation
Ok ok…I’m sure by now you have read about meditation in a number of places.
But is meditation really for you and WHY should you even sit down and shut up?
Let me explain…
Meditation has been used for centuries as a method for relaxation, improving health, and finding mental clarity. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that it is used in cultures all over the world.
It’s hard to believe that something that looks so much like sitting around doing nothing is really doing quite a lot for your mind, body, and spirit. However, it has been found that as little as ten minutes of meditation a day can bring about significant positive changes.
Here are 45 reasons why you need to start meditating …
- Allows for healthier flow of oxygen to the brain, which means clearer thinking and better reasoning skills.
- Better blood flow to the muscles also helps with physical stamina so you are able to exercise more easily and for longer periods.
- The controlled breathing of meditation translates into slower respiration and a decrease in asthma attacks and other breathing issues.
- Deepens religious/spiritual devotion and understanding.
- Meditation actually relaxes the nervous system, leading to a decrease in multiple stress-induced reactions.
- It also lowers your heart rate to a healthier level.
- The act of meditating, as well as the meditative exercises themselves, creates a more self-actualized individual.
- Doesn’t have negative physical side effects, as do anti-anxiety medications.
- Develops emotional maturity as one learns to be calm in the face of drama.
- Increases the release of serotonin in the brain, a chemical that improves mood and makes one feel good naturally.
- Helps prevent panic attacks in those who suffer from anxiety disorders.
- Meditation can be used to improve memory and the ability to learn new things.
- Those who meditate are able to see the big picture in order to solve complex problems.
- The relaxing effects of meditation lead to less aggressive behavior in individuals.
- Helps with the process required to break bad habits and addictions such as smoking, drinking, and using drugs.
- Slows down the racing thoughts that often keep people distracted and awake at night. In general, those who meditate find that they fall asleep easily.
- Helps to normalize blood pressure.
- Meditative exercises lead to a higher level of attention and empathy throughout the day.
- Offers an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of oneself.
- Improves physical and mental reaction time during stressful situations.
- Can be a solitary act that requires no outside influence, including money.
- Allows an individual to feel a sense of connection to everything and everyone, increasing the personal capacity for love and acceptance.
- Through meditation, one is able to develop aspects of his or her character, such as will power and inner strength.
- Increases patience in those who practice, as they are less agitated and are even able to engage in meditation at times (like waiting in lines) when others would become annoyed.
- Keeps mental faculties sharp and slows down the effects of age on the brain.
- Meditators shift brain activity to less stress-prone areas of the brain, decreasing the negative effects of mild stress, depression, and anxiety.
- Ability to release negative emotions, rather than allowing them to become one’s focus.
- An improvement in physical posture results from holding one’s body appropriately, practicing breathing, and even from an increased sense of self confidence.
- The physical benefits of meditation include a decrease in physical pain, especially for chronic pain sufferers.
- Brings an opportunity to simplify one’s life, whether it means quieting some inner turmoil or recognizing the need for less material goods.
- It is common for those who meditate to discover a significant increase in their energy levels.
- Lessens the severity of physical and emotional symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome and other stress factors.
- Helps increase the overall amount lost during one’s weight-loss program due to a lowering of cortisol, as well as other factors.
- Those who meditate regularly benefit from lower levels of heart disease.
- Restores the body to a calm state once the flight or fight reflex has been triggered by an environmental stressor.
- Boosts an individual’s immune system to help ward off physical ailments and diseases.
- Increases creative output as the left and right hemispheres of the brain communicate more effectively and the mind is filled with less clutter and better able to focus in new directions.
- Can be used in conjunction with other forms of medicine or therapy to enhance physical and mental outcomes.
- Breathing is slowed for more efficient use of oxygen and a decreased waste of energy.
- Improves one’s ability to “live in the present” rather than always fretting over future desires or past regrets.
- Improves the ability to recognize one’s own thoughts and thought patterns, thereby allowing for self-reflection, acknowledgement, and even change.
- Removes obstacles preventing individuals from succeeding, specifically by making them clear to the individual so he or she can make appropriate changes on the path to success.
- Strengthens the digestive system for improved overall health and wellness of the body.
- Decreases tension within the muscles of the body, resulting not only in better relaxation, but also a lower likelihood of sustaining an injury.
- Hand-eye coordination increases within individuals who practice meditation.
“What’s encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we’re closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance.”
– Pema Chodron-
In 2003, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn of the University of Massachusetts Medical School conducted a research study regarding the effects of meditation on highly-stressed employees at a high-tech company. The resulting brain scans showed that those employees who had been taught to meditate experienced a transfer in their brain activity into the joy and happiness center in the left frontal lobe of the brain.
Studies like this one are getting more and more companies, as well as individuals, thinking about the benefits of meditation and what the practice could mean for them. From increased productivity and job satisfaction to better relationships among employees, there are some real reasons to consider meditation in the workplace.
Of course, all of these benefits can be extended to everyday life, too, so considering meditation just for job purposes is too narrow of a focus. Instead, think of how you could gain physically, emotionally, and spiritually by incorporating a few minutes of this deep relaxation into your daily schedule.
Thousands of years’ worth of evidence shows pretty conclusively that those who practice meditation are both happier and healthier overall. Not bad for something that requires no money, no equipment, and only a few minutes a day.
What are you waiting for?
Learn How To Meditate: 5 Meditation Techniques That Work Like a Charm
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Posted on October 7, 2009